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Capture a moment in time in this mansion hidden in plain sight

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Mar 12, 2021 7:24 am

Did you know that along the bustling Roxas Boulevard in Parañaque City, there is a beautifully restored pre-war mansion that’s hidden in plain sight? You can visit it, too.

Palacio de Memoria is a restored seven-story mansion in colonial revival style, which was reportedly built between the late 1930s and early 1940s. The mansion, which sits on a sprawling property, now functions as a one-of-a-kind heritage house, events place and museum.

Palacio saw tragedy unfold during the devastating Battle of Manila during World War II but it survived. After the war, Dr. Francisco Villaroman acquired the property and added features to the house like a kitchen on every floor, an elevator, a clinic, a therapeutic pool, and even a morgue.

It was in the early 2000s when the Lhuillier family bought the property from the Villaromans, and started the mansion’s careful rehabilitation that, when completed a few years ago, was restored in its old-world glory.

The mansion's main ballroom features neoclassical arches and columns and an art deco terrazo floor depicting Filipino folk scene designed by National Artist Juan Nakpil. Photos from

Today, one will see the well-preserved ornate features of the mansion like its main ballroom with neoclassical arches and columns, and a stunning art deco terrazzo floor with depiction of Filipino folk scene designed by National Artist Juan Nakpil.

The mansion houses the Lhuillier family's auction house of European fine antiquities called Casa de Memoria, rental spaces for events, a bar, and displays of international art and antiques. It is also a popular venue for weddings, and photo shoots.

With the Palacio de Memoria property grounds is an Antonov 24B aircraft whose interiors were transformed into a vintage bar called Mosphil Lounge. 

Also on the grounds of the property together with Palacio are an ecclesiastical museum and chapel, an al fresco café (developed by award-winning chef Gaita Fores, who will officially cater to events held at the Palacio), and that hard-to miss Antonov 24B aircraft whose interiors were transformed into a vintage bar called Mosphil Lounge.

Palacio de Memoria is open for intimate tours, shoots and events, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday. It offers a guided (P500) and self-guided tours (P200), which will cover the first three floors of the mansion and the gardens.

One of Palacio's opulent rooms, called the Red Room,  carries Italian and Venetian pieces from the 17th and 18th century. 

Walk-ins are allowed for oculars and self-guided tours, but guided tours have to be booked in advance. A maximum of five people at a time are allowed for tours, and two at a time for event oculars.

Before entering the property, visitors to fill out a health declaration form and their temperature will be checked. While within the property, visitors are required to wear a mask and face shield at all times, and social distancing guidelines apply.

Banner and thumbnail photos from